Lymphocyte-depleted classic Hodgkin lymphoma with primary extranodal disease

by | May 4, 2022

Lymphocyte-depleted classic Hodgkin lymphoma with primary extranodal disease: Two cases that highlight the combination of immunodeficiency and immune escape in the pathogenesis


Neoplastic programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, activated by PD-L1 gene alterations, is strongly associated with classic Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL). This association enabled a diagnostic consensus for lymphocyte-depleted CHL (LD-CHL), a previously enigmatic disease. We describe two patients with LD-CHL and primary extranodal disease. One patient was a 92-year-old female (Case #1) with a large mass that involved the uterus combined with swollen lymph nodes in the pelvic cavity. The second patient was a 76-year-old female (Case #2) with human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) who initially exhibited massive bone marrow involvement without peripheral lymphadenopathies. Biopsies of these tumors from the cervix uteri and bone marrow, respectively, revealed lesions rich in Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (H-RS) cells and diminished populations of other cell populations. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that these H-RS cells expressed CD30, BOB1, and fascin, but not CD15, CD20, PAX5, or OCT2. They also expressed PD-L1, which led to our preferred diagnosis of LD-CHL in both patients. Epstein-Barr virus was associated with LD-CHL in Case #1, but not in Case #2. Both patients were deemed too frail for treatment. They died of disease at 1 (Case #1) and 15 months (Case #2) after the diagnosis. These findings highlight the abnormal biological behavior of this immune-escape-related lymphoid neoplas.
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